“We are asking people to call on the White House and Congress to enact relief for the people that Jesus cared about,” say the Poor People’s Campaign co-chairs.
In an op-ed published Thursday by TIME, Poor People’s Campaign co-chairs Rev. Drs. William Barber and Liz Theoharis outlined the “evil” elements of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus legislation that President Donald Trump signed last week and demanded a federal COVID-19 relief effort that centers the needs of the nation’s most vulnerable.
“We must invest in education, living-wage jobs, anti-poverty programs, public infrastructure, and a single-payer healthcare program that does away with our privatized, for-profit healthcare system and instead guarantees everybody in, nobody out.”
—Rev. Drs. William Barber and Liz Theoharis, Poor People’s Campaign
Although the third coronavirus relief package provides some cash payments to workers, increased unemployment benefits, and support to small businesses, Barber and Theoharis noted “it also includes a $500 billion fund to bail out corporations, and Trump has already vowed to defy the oversight that Democrats in the Senate and House worked to require.”
“Americans who are desperate for aid from their government could not get it without paying a 25% surcharge to the rich and powerful,” they added. “In a word, this is evil.”
Barber and Theoharis explained that “as Trump and his enablers continue to fumble their response to COVID-19 and sow deep inequities into the social response to this pandemic, the Poor People’s Campaign is calling for noncooperation with injustice and inequality,” and urging Congress to pursue “permanent changes” to improve the lives of people most affected by the pandemic.